Published On: Sat, Sep 10th, 2016

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (DGX) Now Covered by Analysts at Citigroup Inc.

Equities researchers at Citigroup Inc. initiated coverage on shares of Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX) in a research note issued to investors on Friday. The firm set a “neutral” rating and a $86.00 price target on the stock. Citigroup Inc.’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 6.28% from the stock’s current price.
Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $92.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 11th. Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Friday, June 3rd. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Tuesday, May 24th. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Sunday, May 22nd. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Monday, May 16th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Quest Diagnostics currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $81.05.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) traded down 3.82% on Friday, hitting $80.92. 1,114,293 shares of the company were exchanged. Quest Diagnostics has a 52 week low of $59.66 and a 52 week high of $86.85. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $84.58 and a 200 day moving average of $77.55. The company has a market capitalization of $11.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.12 and a beta of 0.66.

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Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $1.34 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.32 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $1.91 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.91 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 11.02% and a return on equity of 14.41%. Quest Diagnostics’s quarterly revenue was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.25 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 19th. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 4th will be issued a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.98%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 30th. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 28.02%.
In other news, Director John B. Ziegler sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.36, for a total transaction of $84,360.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Jenne K. Britell sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.20, for a total transaction of $340,800.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several hedge funds have made changes to their positions in DGX. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 9,345,649 shares of the company’s stock worth $664,877,000 after buying an additional 360,993 shares during the period. Vident Investment Advisory LLC boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 111.2% in the fourth quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC now owns 31,793 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,262,000 after buying an additional 16,736 shares during the period. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 5.1% in the fourth quarter. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. now owns 52,153 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,741,000 after buying an additional 2,515 shares during the period. Stifel Financial Corp boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 1,501.9% in the fourth quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 980,145 shares of the company’s stock worth $46,545,000 after buying an additional 918,958 shares during the period. Finally, Pioneer Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Pioneer Investment Management Inc. now owns 220,556 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,690,000 after buying an additional 3,609 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.79% of the company’s stock.
About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated is a provider of diagnostic information services. The Company operates through two businesses: Diagnostic Information Services and Diagnostic Solutions. The Company’s Diagnostic Information Services business develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services to patients, physicians, health plans, hospitals, accountable care organizations (ACOs), integrated delivery networks (IDNs), other commercial laboratories, employers and others.

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